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LIANNE [lee-ann]
I’m so happy that you’re here. Thank you for taking the time out to see what the Watch Us Thrive podcast is all about. Want to learn more? Click the link below to learn about how and why it all started…

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? As a survivor of domestic violence and an advocate for the community, I wanted to shed light on a topic that is often overlooked…emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is a type of domestic violence that is often overlooked and not talked about. It can be degrading, terrifying and humiliating. It can take a toll on the victim’s confidence and self-esteem.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 48.4% of women have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Psychological abuse has been scientifically proven to cause long-term damage to a victim’s mental health. This can cause anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, lack of trust and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

What are some signs of emotional abuse in a relationship? How can we identify them? Keep reading to learn 6 signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.

6 Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Gaslighting is a type of abuse is meant to make your doubt what is reality. The abuser will often question your own thoughts. When gaslighting is successful, you will begin to wonder if you can trust your own feelings and interpretations.


Instead of communicating, an abuser punishes you with silence, leaving you guessing at what you might have done wrong. The silent treatment is a means of control.


Someone abusing you will try to get you to prioritize their needs and neglect your own. Often, they will make an effort to isolate your from your support system, which leaves you more dependent on them, thus having more control over you.

Invasion of Privacy

When someone is trying to control you through possession. The abuser may go through your things without your permission. They can also take control of your money, also known as financial abuse.

Emotional Blackmail

This scenario is when the abuser threatens to withhold something from you unless you give into their demands. Some examples of emotional abuse can be:


An abuser doesn’t miss a chance to remind you of your flaws, mistakes and shortcomings. They often call you names, belittle you, make condescending remarks and may even embarrass you in public. The abuser will often disregard your opinions ideas, thoughts and feelings.

The Bottom Line

Recognizing the signs of emotional abuse is the first step to getting help. There are people who want to support you!

You should also remember that the abuse is never your fault. Start taking small steps to protect and nurture yourself and begin to heal from your emotionally abusive relationship. You deserve love, respect, to be treated like a queen, the right to feel safe and seen in your relationship. No more settling for less!

Learning to pinpoint red flags can help you make feel empowered and form decisions that can change your life. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can heal from an emotionally abusive relationship. Read my blog post around How to Heal From a Toxic Relationship for some tips and tools on how to get started on your journey to healing.

Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know that help is available. Call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788 for confidential support.

For free resources around domestic violence, CLICK HERE for podcast episodes featuring different survivor stories!

If you’re looking for a therapist, check out BetterHelp®. BetterHelp® is a proud sponsor of Watch Us Thrive. Get professional support when you need it, at a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy. Sign up today to receive 10% off your first month.